MEMORANDUM OF CONGOLESE CIVIL SOCIETY WOMEN AND YOUTH FOR THE

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					MEMORANDUM OF CONGOLESE CIVIL SOCIETY WOMEN AND YOUTH FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE CONGOLESE DECISIONMAKERS AND MINING COMPANIES Subject : Renegotiation of mining contracts Civil society organisations, including women and youth groups, which have closely followed the development of the review process and continue to observe the renegotiation of mining contracts, met on 3 September 2008, in order to examine the impact of this process, in favour of the Congolese nation, in particular women, children and the youth. From this meeting, it appears that the publication of the terms of reference for the renegotiation or termination of mining contracts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is of great importance in order to facilitate transparency and the monitoring of the process from which it is hoped the Congolese population will be relieved of poverty in order to guarantee the future of generations to come. For more than a decade large mining deposits and reserves have benefited multinational companies and mining entities. In the report of the mining contracts review Committee, it is revealed that the Congolese mining deposits are the largest in the world. However, the population itself does not benefit in any way from the profits earned from the sale of these minerals for they still live in precarious conditions: absolute poverty, decline of education, lack of potable water and electricity, difficult access to primary healthcare. What is even more serious is the economic and social exploitation of workers in mines and the exploitation of children, sexual violence against women and children in the mining areas ( which increases STIs, including HIV/AIDS), environmental destruction and pollution. With this awareness, we, the Congolese civil society women and youth, are seizing this opportunity in the renegotiation process to highlight our interest in seeing positive results develop from the process. We congratulate and encourage the government for this praiseworthy initiative, the first of its type in the DRC. If this renegotiation is wisely carried out, it will certainly contribute to the improvement in national budget, the population’s living conditions in general, and for Congolese women and children in particular. It is imperative during the renegotiation to take certain objectives into consideration, including the maximisation of state revenue and the strict application of the social responsibility of companies in areas where they are active. At this turning point in the history of the Congolese mining sector, we dare to hope that noone will be able to stand in the way of the impetus of the process for the renegotiating of contracts, which are not advantageous to the Congolese State, making it incapable of complying with the provisions of article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which stipulates that “Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realisation, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organisation and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and free development of his personality”. Besides, the DRC constitution states in its article 58: “All Congolese have the right to enjoy national

riches. The Congolese State has the duty to equitably redistribute and guarantee the right to development”. On this basis we recommend: 1. To the President of the Republic : To continue exercising his prerogatives for the successful conclusion of the mining contract renegotiating process. 2. To the Government: o to respectfully execute what is stipulated by the Constitution and laws of the Republic; o to integrate this process in the programme of the government of the Republic; o to ensure adherence to the renegotiated terms of reference as published; o to compile a process monitoring mechanism in order to allocate the income arising from the renegotiation to the full development programme; o to respect the laws and regulations governing the management of public finances; o to apply transparency and good governance; o to improve the conditions of workers in quarries and mines in accordance with the Labour Code; o to put an end to the policy of tax exemption which causes a loss of earnings for the public treasury; o to request the transformation of mining products in DRC in order to create employment for nationals. 3. To Parliament o to become involved in the process; o to fully play its traditional oversight role of questioning and auditing the management of public assets; o to demand the imposition of sanctions on offenders; o to ensure the successful completion of the renegotiating process and to demand a final report. 4. To the political parties o to involve themselves in the process and to play their role of counterweight to the government; o to denounce abuse in the management of public assets; o to supervise the effective application of the mining legislation and the terms of reference for the negotiation and/or termination of mining contracts; o to ensure the successful completion of the renegotiation and to require the publication of the final report. 5. To the mining companies o to accept the renegotiation of their mining contracts in the interest of the nation and their investments, in accordance with the Mining Code;

o to respect the requirements of the Congolese sovereign state, in investment in mining sectors, in particular the terms of reference on the renegotiation of mining contracts, which must be the basis for any negotiations. 6. To the Congolese people o to mobilise themselves and support the renegotiation process so that it is transparent and just in order to fully assume their power of control of the nation’s mining resources; o to resist any action, irrespective of its origin, which would be against its interests.

Thus done in Kinshasa, 03 September 2008

For the Civil Society organisations: Youth forum Women’s Action Network Human Rights and Christian Inspired Civic Education Network Solidarity of NGOs for the democracy, civic education and Human Rights of Kasaï Action against impunity for Human Rights Association of Congolese Tax Experts Student Dynamics Housewives forum Adventist Youth Student Youth Stand Up for Peace Congolese Union for Women in the Media

Messages : Democratic Republic of Congo, our mines, our prosperity Mines, the seeds for national development Mines + good governance + good management = fulfilment of the nation and development of the country. Streamer:

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Civil society for transparent management of the renegotiation of mining contracts with a view to sustainable development of the Congo. Sub-soil riches firstly belong to the Congolese nation – mining should be for their development.

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Thus done in Kinshasa, 3 September 2008.


				
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